The Farmer’s Daughter

As a girl, I would stretch
my Easter treats out until my birthday,
birthday treats until Halloween
Halloween treats until Christmas,
Christmas treats until spring,
conserving my quarterly reaping
as though sweets were root vegetables.

I loved to read –
and the Wordsworths almost had me convinced
that the freedom to stop and watch the geese head south,
or the beaver work on his dam, or the fox loiter to stare back at me,
was all a person needed to be happy,
provided they wrote it all down.

I keep these meticulous inventories of my life,
of what I see outside the kitchen window,
in the church graveyard, in father’s fields,
in the ground at the end of the garden –
and how it all makes me feel.

But my wish is to be spoiled;
and to give without doing any sums first,
trusting my guests to be gracious, the landlord kind,
the well full of water, my storerooms dry.



Thea Ayres is a poet from West Yorkshire. She is a graduate of the Writing Squad. Her work has been commissioned by the Dead [Women] Poets Society and the Arc Project and been published in The Scribe.